December 12, 1983

PC

Arthur Ronald Huntington

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Huntington:

Now answer the question.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MANAGEMENT CONTROL
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

Also on page 95 we find:

-we observed improvements in the quality of evaluations undertaken.

Oral Questions

I jump a couple of pages to page 98 which reads:

We found that very real progress has been made. Most of the major departments and many of the agencies have the basic infrastructure for evaluation in place. Many of these are actively attempting to carry out evaluations.

I said the Auditor General is fair. I do not think the Opposition is.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MANAGEMENT CONTROL
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MANAGEMENT CONTROL
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   MANAGEMENT CONTROL
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PETROLEUM INCENTIVES PROGRAM-REQUEST FOR SUSPENSION AND INVESTIGATION

NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Hon. Edward Broadbent (Oshawa):

Madam Speaker, 1 have a question for the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. The Minister will be aware that when the Petroleum Incentives Program was introduced, we in this Party were critical because it would meet neither the energy needs nor provide jobs anywhere proportionate to the amount of money spent.

The Auditor General was particularly critical of the Program this morning, a Program which has cost the Canadian taxpayers $2 billion to date and will cost up to $8 billion by the end of 1986. In view of the harsh criticism of this Program by the Auditor General, will the Minister now announce suspension of the Program until it is looked at by a committee of this House and until that committee reports back?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PETROLEUM INCENTIVES PROGRAM-REQUEST FOR SUSPENSION AND INVESTIGATION
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LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Hon. Jean Chretien (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources):

Again, Madam Speaker, the Auditor General said that the Program was well managed. He said that we should try to evaluate the Program immediately. But in fact the Program has only been in place for one year. Therefore it is very difficult to have a progress report when a program has been in place for less than one year.

I would like to say to the Hon. Member that what he is proposing at this time would amount to closing down all activities off the coast of Labrador, off the coast of Newfoundland, in Nova Scotia and the North. I do not think anybody in Canada who believes in energy self-sufficiency and security of oil and gas supply would advocate that we should stop all drilling at this time in Canada Lands, as the Hon. Member is proposing.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PETROLEUM INCENTIVES PROGRAM-REQUEST FOR SUSPENSION AND INVESTIGATION
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NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Broadbent:

Madam Speaker, as the Conservative Member beside me has just said, why do we have to stop the drilling? There are other ways of doing the drilling than under a program which is wasting millions of dollars of taxpayers' money. That is the point.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PETROLEUM INCENTIVES PROGRAM-REQUEST FOR SUSPENSION AND INVESTIGATION
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REQUEST FOR COMMITTEE REVIEW

NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Hon. Edward Broadbent (Oshawa):

Madam Speaker, my supplementary question is also for the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. Considering that the Auditor General

December 12, 1983

OraI Questions

said about this program-and I want to be fair-that there is "poor monitoring of the payments" from the Government, and "one of the most serious problems is that there will be no real evaluation of the program until 1986", when the program is due to end; and finally, the Auditor General said "the statements of the Government", about this program, "are misleading"-in view of the all these damning quotes by the Auditor General of the Government's program, 1 repeat, will the Government suspend this program until this matter is seriously reviewed by a committee of this House?

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Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR COMMITTEE REVIEW
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LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Hon. Jean Chretien (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources):

Madam Speaker, 1 said that less than two weeks ago the House of Commons was facing supplementary estimates of $600 million and I was available to appear before the committee to discuss this program. Neither Members of his Party nor the members of the Official Opposition bothered to ask me to appear to explain this program to members of the committee.

If people want to stop the drilling in northern Canada, in Newfoundland, and in Nova Scotia, you abolish the program. If you want to achieve self-sufficiency and security of supply in Canada, you have to maintain the program. If you want to have a policy that will Canadianize the oil and gas industry, you have to give grants. If you go to the old system, through tax incentives, only the multinationals will be drilling, but this House has decided that this industry should be Canadianized for the good of all Canadians.

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Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR COMMITTEE REVIEW
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NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Broadbent:

Madam Speaker, one is tempted to suggest that the Minister almost believes his own propaganda by the passion figure with which he expresses such nonsense. We in this Party thought Petro-Canada was created to do the job of the multinationals, not to play the hand-out game which the Minister has used and which has been criticized by the Auditor General and which is wasting, 1 repeat, millions of dollars of taxpayers' money. We do not need that kind of giveaway program.

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Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR COMMITTEE REVIEW
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REQUEST THAT MINISTER APPEAR BEFORE COMMITTEE

NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Hon. Edward Broadbent (Oshawa):

Madam Speaker, since the Minister just offered to explain to a committee, and in light ol the fact that the Auditor General, not someone on this side of the House, but an important official appointed by this House, has made such serious criticism of the program, will the Minister now have the matter referred to the committee, come before the committee himself and try to justify such an unjustifiable mess?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT MINISTER APPEAR BEFORE COMMITTEE
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LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Hon. Jean Chretien (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources):

Madam Speaker, last week when I rose in the House 1 said that 1 was prepared to go before the Committee on National Resources and Public Works as soon as it would be examining the Estimates for my Department. There are procedures in the House for allowing Ministers to testify

before committees. Last week, or maybe it was two weeks ago. when I was willing to meet the Committee, not a single Member of the Opposition asked me to appear before the Committee to discuss these programs, although 1 was willing to do so. I suppose the Opposition was still thinking it over. It so happens that months ago we already took the necessary action to ensure that program monitoring and efficiency would be evaluated so that I could report as soon as possible on the subject to the House of Commons.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST THAT MINISTER APPEAR BEFORE COMMITTEE
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DISASTERS

LIB

Alexandre Cyr

Liberal

Mr. Alexandre Cyr (Gaspe):

Madam Speaker, my question is directed to the President of the Privy Council. The storm on December 8 of this year has caused very serious damage in Eastern Canada, estimated at millions of dollars in the Gaspe. Through agreements arranging for financial assistance in case of disasters, the Government of Canada provides the provinces with financial aid to cover damages caused by such disasters. Could the Minister inform the House whether he has received an official request from the Province of Quebec which would enable the Province to take advantage of this federal program, and if so, was the request received favourably?

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Subtopic:   DISASTERS
Sub-subtopic:   QUEBEC-DECEMBER 8 STORM IN THE GASPE-POSSIBILITY OF FINANCIAL AID
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LIB

Yvon Pinard (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Yvon Pinard (President of the Privy Council):

Madam Speaker, I can confirm to the Hon. Member that if an official request is made by the provincial Government to the Government of Canada for cost sharing under the familiar agreement formula, we can then contribute an amount that may be up to 90 per cent of the cost of damage incurred. In the circumstances, if Quebec submits a request and the extent of the disaster so justifies, we can then contribute up to 90 per cent, but we have yet to receive a request. Finally, I can assure the Hon. Member that if an official request is made, it shall be given very serious consideration.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   DISASTERS
Sub-subtopic:   QUEBEC-DECEMBER 8 STORM IN THE GASPE-POSSIBILITY OF FINANCIAL AID
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PETRO-CANADA ACQUISITION OF PETROFINA-DENIAL OF INFORMATION TO AUDITOR GENERAL

PC

Pat Carney

Progressive Conservative

Miss Pat Carney (Vancouver Centre):

Madam Speaker, my question is also directed to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. One of the most damning quotes from the Auditor General's Report indicates that he has been unable to ascertain whether "due regard to economy has been demonstrated and value for money received" in the $1.7 billion acquisition of Petrofina by Petro-Canada because Petro-Canada refuses to

December 12, 1983

make the information available to his Department. Specifically, it will not give the evaluation of the assets acquired. Will the Minister direct Petro-Canada to make this information available to the Auditor General, since Canadian taxpayers put up the money?

Hon. Jean Chretien (Minister of Energy, Mines and

Resources): Madam Speaker, this question was raised last year, and 1 think it was repeated this year by the Auditor General. The process followed for the acquisition of Petrofina by Petro-Canada was within the rules as they exist in the Government. It was not an acquisition made by the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. It was made by this Crown corporation which has its own system of evaluation and its own system of audit. When the President of Petro-Canada, or its chief executive, appears in front of the committee, Hon. Members of the House-as they have in the Past and will in the future-will be able to interview and ask the questions they want of them.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PETRO-CANADA ACQUISITION OF PETROFINA-DENIAL OF INFORMATION TO AUDITOR GENERAL
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December 12, 1983